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Max Leake: Trios (2004)

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Max Leake: Trios How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

This is pianist Max Leake's second release as a leader, after 1985's Buns in the Sun. Between the two, Leake has led a busy life as a musician, playing on thirteen records as a sideman. If that wasn't enough, he has also composed music and produced albums for other performers. If you would like to know more, you could always visit his web site . We have to get down to this record.

Leake has two trios investigating the nine tunes, and in both instances the rhythm section serves the cause adequately. There is one irk, though, and it comes on "Just You, Just Me," on which drummer Tom Wendt gets over-busy. Wendt however comes off in perfect tandem with Leake on "Crazeology" one of the better tunes. Leake spins some radiant images, his finger firmly on the pulse, the creativity ticking. Another tune that reaches out is Hank Mobley's "Funk in Deep Freeze." The funk grabs and Leake adds to the lure when he throws in a blues riff and shows some nice chord work. And while he brings an emotive tone to "Heart Song," his ministrations don't go deep enough. The latter factor also informs the rest of the tunes; his technique is sound, but creativity could well have done with a more ingrained core. All of which makes this album competent, but not compelling.

Track Listing: Funk in Deep Freeze; Heart Song; Morning Star; Just you, Just Me; A Time for Love; Both Sides Now; Three and One; Virgo; Harlequin; Menina Flor; Dienda; Serenata; Crazeology

Personnel: Max Leake-piano; Dwayne Dolphin-bass; Paul Thomson-bass; Greg Humphries-drums; Tom Wendt-drums

Record Label: Corona

Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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